7/2/17 Late Night or Early Morning Consensus

There is no consensus on this yet. It could be late night. It could be early morning. Whichever it may be, I am at beautiful Smith Lake in Alabama with my friends David and Pat, and their family and my family, at David and Pat’s lake home. I am thinking of waking everyone up, one by one, and polling them as to the late nightness or early morningness. Maybe we can reach a consensus, though the consensus may not be the one I seek.

The forecast is for rain, rain, and more rain, yet we had a surprisingly dry, sunshiny day: cool, pleasant, and just wind enough to enjoy sailing with David on his Hobie Cat Trimaran Kayak. I have not had a more pleasant time in a long time, just sailing aimlessly on beautiful Smith Lake, as pontoons, power boats, bass boats, racing boats, and wave runners weaved all about us, or rather, as we tacked our way through them as randomly as the variety in the wind we sought. We took whatever wind we could find. The invisible wind is not always easy to find, and a visible wind is too much for sail.

It was the first time I have been on a sailing craft in years. The Hobie will fairly well fly in any steady wind and accelerate rapidly at the least hint of a gust. It was great to talk and laugh with each other in a soft breeze, no sound of an engine, just the sound of a sail suddenly filling with wind and the lapping of the water on the outriggers.

I have no photos to post yet. Since the forecast was for thunderstorms, I am all prepared to take some lightning photos, but the only thunderstorm we had today was on the backside of my view. If the forecasters are right, I’ll likely get my chance tomorrow night.

When one stops to think of it, meteorologists aren’t very good at a ten day forecast, and only somewhat good at a 24-48 hour forecast. I wonder what makes them think we should think that they would be any better with their global warming computer models that stretch for years it the future. They frequently get wrong what is going to happen tomorrow.

But that is weather, not climate,” explained those smarter than me to my less smart self. “Climate is more subtle, yet reliable, as we can track the data over decades, centuries, even millennia.”

I pondered that for a while, having the bad form to recall the rather adamant consensus among 1960’s and ’70’s meteorologists/climatologists of the coming ice age, reminding those smarter than me that consensus does not make for settled science.

Ptolemy once had an elaborate theoretical model of how the solar system worked. He was a Roman citizen of Greek origin living in the enlightened city of Alexandria, Egypt, between 100 and 170AD. Ptolemy was an astronomer and an astrologer, as the two jobs were nearly interchangeable in those days, with the edge going to the astrology side. It was akin to the way Doctors of Osteopathy still practice spinal manipulation from time to time but won’t admit it, mostly practicing medicine like MDs, leaving the spinal manipulation to their red-headed step-children, the chiropractors. An Osteopath will tell you there is no connection between osteopathy and chiropractic.

By the same token, an Astronomer will use foul language, make obscene gestures, and likely get into fisticuffs with you should you dare refer to him as an astrologer. I wouldn’t blame him if he did. Astronomers are scientists. Astrologers are pseudo-religionists, dabbling in the ancient mysteries of Babylon. You may consult your astrologer if you like. I will see my chiropractor instead. Some say chiropractic is quackery. I wonder just how far down the line Osteopaths will go to saying that, as spinal manipulation is the foundation of Osteopathy, and Osteopaths have all the practicing privileges of Medical Doctors, primarily because of having had, I suppose, better lobbyists.

Of course, Astrologers will identify with Astronomers, but Astronomers are unlikely to see any semblance of similarity other than they are both observers of the night skies.

And in Ptolemy the Astronomer/Astrologer’s day, the sun revolved around the earth. It was settled science. Ptolemy, while being a serious astronomer, developing many useful calculations and charts that are still remarkably accurate, placed the Earth right in the center of things. This was settled for a long time. Actually, for about 1300 years, until Copernicus came along in the 1500s and independently reasserted what others had asserted even before Ptolemy…that the Sun was at the center of the solar system.

While Copernicus dealt deftly and softly with religious leaders of the time, since frequently the religious consensus of a scientific matter was the scientific consensus, too, it was Galileo that had to endure the wrath of the religious and scientific consensus makers of his day. He was charged with heresy, as it was heretical to be a scientist in disagreement with the consensus among the settled scientists.

Of course, we are much more knowledgeable today. Astronomy is modern. Chiropractic and Osteopathy are modern. Medicine is modern. Astrology is modern. Meteorology and climatology is modern. Medical, meteorological, and climatological models are all modern, far more modern than the formerly-modern ones used by Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Galileo. 97% of scientists agree that all of these things are modern.

Then again, at least 97% of scientists agree that scientists don’t make enough money. Surely, 97% of scientists agree that not enough money is spent to fund scientific research. And, we are told, 97% of scientists agree that the earth is getting warmer, or rather, the climate is changing, or perhaps Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant instead of a critical component of life on earth as we know it. There would be no life on earth without Carbon Dioxide. Hopefully, 97% of scientists agree on that.

I don’t know what Astrologers agree on, but I am certain 100% of the Astronomers will get fighting mad if you call them an astrologer. There is a strong consensus on this.

Maybe Climatologists get angry when they are confused with meteorologists. Maybe meteorologists get angry when they are confused with climatologists, though meteorologists take what data they can make use of and PREDICT what tomorrow’s weather is likely to be. Climatologists take what data they can make use of, or withhold, or manipulate, and PREDICT what next century’s climate is likely to be. Astrologers look at the stars and PREDICT what will happen in your relationships, with your health, your finances, and other future events. In that way, meteorologists, climatologists, and astrologers have something in common. Maybe climatologists should consider inserting astrological data into their models. It couldn’t hurt. While you might go to the Astrological Association annual conference and mention that, I’d bite my tongue at a gathering of climatologists, unless your astrological models match their computer climate models, then you’d be likely to make at least 97% of them happy, unlike Copernicus and Galileo, heretics they were. They stood against everything settled science was for. They bucked the consensus. Of course, they were also more modern….

just like us.

©2017 Mississippi Chris Sharp

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